The seasons in the city : artists and rural worlds in the era of Calvino and Pasolini
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The Seasons in the City. Artists and Rural Worlds in the Era of Calvino and Pasolini explores rurality in postwar Italy. Between 1958 and 1963, the country underwent an unprecedented yet uneven industrialisation, a period known as the Economic Miracle. Drawing on a relational and dynamic understanding of rural space provided by human geography, this thesis investigates the impact of these economic and socio-cultural transformations on the countryside, and on the ways in which the rural world was perceived and conceptualised in the following decades, especially by contemporary artists and intellectuals. Works of Gianfranco Baruchello, Claudio Costa, Piero Gilardi, Maria Lai, Ugo La Pietra, Antonio Paradiso, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, and Superstudio have been selected and analysed for the complex views on the topography of the country they convey, whilst challenging more conventional forms of art. Organised in themed chapters that find resonance in the contemporary works of two iconic Italian intellectuals, Italo Calvino and Pier Paolo Pasolini, these artistic practices manifest the ways in which Marxist theory and anthropology contributed to artists’ identification of rural landscapes and communities at the time. More importantly, this thesis offers an alternative geographical perspective on 1970s Italian art, one that challenges the pastoral myths that were constructed in the country’s metropolitan centres.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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